The Astor Big Band In Felixstowe

The Astor Big Band are appearing at the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe on 4th June at 2:30pm presenting ‘More Miller Magic’.

This show has a host of Glenn Miller’s No. 1 Hits, including In the Mood, Tuxedo Junction, American Patrol and Serenade in Blue. 

Plus Big Band hits from Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters 

And songs from West End musicals, all in the unmistakable Glenn Miller Style.

Also our Strictly Miller Dancers and Vocal Group. 

The band has been appointed as official touring show by the Royal British Legion to raise money for their Poppy Appeal, with special focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. All profits plus a collection in the interval go to this charity.

There are some 6,000 modern day veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq who will – if they do not already – suffer from this terrible disability of PTSD.

274 veterans of the Falklands have already committed suicide and the only support they get is from the British Legion who need to raise an extra £250,000 a year just to provide care for those who are so badly affected that they have to live in sheltered accommodation

In the story of Aki Lilani

Aki Qualified as a doctor from Bristol University in 2005 and having been an officer cadet at school went direct to Sandhurst to do his military training as an army doctor.

2 weeks after passing out he was posted to 2 Para in the Gerescki Valley in Afghanistan.

As an Army doctor he was expected to be a fighting soldier up until the time there was an incident requiring medical attention, and that the rules of engagement in Afghanistan were that our troops could not engage the enemy unless they were already being shot at.

He recalls one battle which lasted 22 hours during which his unit suffered 5 Fatalities and 17 Wounded including some Amputees.

It was part of his job to finally zip up the body bags and that afterwards he recalls feeling terrible shame that he had been unable to save all his men.

He became totally introverted and unable to speak, was returned from Afghanistan and medically discharged. This meant that he went from earning £3,500 a month as an army doctor to nothing and he received a gratuity payment for his short service of just £600.

Unable to practise in civilian life and as he could barely talk to anybody, his marriage broke up and he lost his home.

Although he was living rough he still maintained regular contact with his 3 year old daughter (she is now 6). He was walking with her outside Guildford Cathedral on Remembrance Sunday when a member of the British Legion asked if he would like to come in and his little girl said  “Yes”

During the service the sun light through a stained glass window on to his hymn book turned it blood red and the little girl said “Daddy – That is a sign from God”

Immediately after the service he went to the Legion and explained his situation and they are steadily helping him to rebuild his life.

Following intensive therapy he is now able to give some counselling to other PTSD sufferers – so at least he can buy his own food – and is helping the legion with their annual poppy appeal.

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For more information or to book visit: www.astorbigband.co.uk /spapavilion.uk

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